Kenya's ARM Cement reports 2015 loss due to weaker currency
Kenya’s ARM Cement reported on Saturday a pre-tax loss of 3.54 billion Kenyan shillings ($35 million) for the full year 2015 due to foreign exchange losses after notching up a profit of 2.02 billion shillings in 2014.
ARM, the second biggest cement producer in East Africa, has operations in Tanzania and Rwanda as well as Kenya.
The company said in a statement that its revenues rose 7% to 14.74 billion shillings in 2015. It said it had posted a loss per share of 5.84 shillings last year against a gain of 3.01 shillings the year before.
“The sharp depreciation of both the Kenyan and Tanzanian currencies in the second half of 2015 resulted in an unrealised foreign exchange loss of 3.7 billion shillings from our U.S. dollar-denominated borrowings,” it said.
The Kenyan shilling plunged to fresh 3-1/2 year lows in the second half of 2015 due to falling tourism revenues, a widening current account deficit and a firming U.S. dollar.
ARM’s Tanzanian plant has annual capacity to produce 1.5 million tonnes of cement, while its Kenyan plant can produce 1 million tonnes and the Rwandan operation 100,000 tonnes.
The cement maker said on Friday it had secured a $140 million investment from British development finance institution CDC Group.